Mobile marketing is both reactive and proactive. First you need to make sure that anyone with a phone that has web access can find your company and website. Then you want to proactively reach people on their phones through advertising and other marketing techniques.
They need to give you permission to contact them on their phone. Once they do, you have an incredibly effective and inexpensive way to connect with a customer. Treat that permission very, very carefully since it's very easy for someone to opt-out and unsubscribe if they feel they are not getting text messages that are relevant and/or of value to them to receive.
Why Mobile Marketing is so Important for Your Business
Large and small businesses are recognizing that one of the most effective ways to reach consumers directly is through their mobile devices.
There are more than 100 million mobile users in the U.S. alone, according to Nielsen, and they often turn to their mobile devices to buy goods and services. In fact, 25% of U.S. mobile users never access the Internet from a non-mobile device, according to MobiThinking, a website that monitors trends in mobile marketing.
Consumers prefer to use mobile devices for banking, travel, shopping, viewing video, using social media, and listening to music, reports MobiThinking. They also prefer to pay for their transactions through them. Paying by mobile, or m-payments as they are known in the industry is trending to account for over $1 trillion by 2015.
84 percent of small businesses that use mobile marketing techniques report an increase in new business for their efforts according to a survey from Web.com and Lab42 earlier this year.
More than half of Facebook's users view Facebook from a mobile phone.
Mobile Marketing "must do" list to make sure your business gets "found" by people searching online using their phone
1. Make sure your business is listed with reputable online directories
Know this: Your company may already be listed, but with bad or wrong information! You need to proactively review and manage your listings with the large, reputable online directories for local search.
You don't need a website to create a free listing. If you don't have a website, people will see your listing which will have key information you share about your location and phone number. If you have a website, you can include a link to that in your free listing to attract more people to your website. Think of these listings like the Yellow Pages but free.
Only list your business with reputable directories. There are thousands of companies offering "free listings" but not all of them are reputable. If you list with a directory that is blacklisted by Google as a spammer, it will hurt your website search rankings with Google because it will look like you're associating with disreputable companies.
Get listed (it's free for a basic listing) with all the reputable directories
If you sell nationally, internationally or online only, it's more complicated to create your listings. These listing directories are set up for local companies to help people on phones and their PCs find local merchants and retailers.
We've consolidated a list of the reputable directories: Free Listings
Google Places is the most important directory to sign up with
More than 65% of searches are done on Google.
The majority (~70%) of people who find you on their mobile device will view your listing on Google Places and not go to your website. Make sure that your Google Places listing is set up properly.
It is not about fixing your current desktop site to work for mobile devices. It won't work most of the time. Fixing your existing website to work for people on a mobile phone is like asking someone to park their car in a spot meant for a motorcycle. It is about adding a mobile site to your business for the needs of the consumer on the go that accommodates the limitations of a mobile phone for accessing the web.
Once you have a mobile site you want to add an auto device detection tool to your website. That means when someone types in your .com site domain name from a mobile phone, they will see your mobile site on their phone instead of the .com site. Example:Leisurelivinginc.com. Put that address into your mobile phone and instead of their .com site, their .mobi site will appear.
You need to add an auto re-direct device detection feature to your mobile site as well. Then if someone types in your mobile address from a desktop device they will see the site that gives them the best experience with your business. In this case, your .com site.
Know this: You are missing sales opportunities if your website isn't set up properly to work on mobile phones and Smartphones!
This how-to guide, written by an expert in mobile website design, covers everything you need to know about mobile websites. Learn about the different options for how to create and maintain a mobile website, along with the pros, cons, cautions, costs and realities to be successful. Get practical tips and step-by-step instructions to help you get your mobile website set up better, faster and less expensively whether you choose to do this yourself using tools or templates or whether you choose to use a service or hire a mobile website developer or designer.
3. Make sure you are collecting your customers' cell phone numbers and their permission to contact them on their phone
With their permission, you can then send them text messages to remind them about an appointment, sale or important new product introduction. Text messaging to people you know is the most inexpensive and effective way to reach many customers!
Plan a very targeted marketing and advertising campaign to reach your customers and prospective customers on their mobile devices. Text messaging or SMS is a great way to do that. What's key is to offer something with a strong call-to-action that will encourage people seeing your text message to do something or buy right away. Get people to join your deals list by offering one subscriber free products/services for the year or something else of high value. And when they do subscribe, make sure they give you their permission to contact them. That will allow you to contact them again once a month with mobile coupons.
What else can you do to maximize your mobile marketing?
Gear a mobile campaign toward the gift-giver. Customers are looking for things for other people, so design a mobile marketing campaign that recommends the best gifts.
Don't just make promotional offers. Be helpful. Text HELP ME to 1234 for a link to our holiday gift guide. Share tips and relevant advice with links.
Promote your mobile marketing program in all your other marketing - your business cards, website, Facebook page, in-store, etc.
Make sure you are recognizing and rewarding your best customers. Give them the best offers, special privileges, invitations to events, access to key people to help them.
Reward people who visit and "check in" frequently at your store(s). For example, you can text a number when you are 100 yards away from a certain coffee shop chain and instantly get a coupon for a free beverage.
Reward people who bring friends!
Next page - common mobile marketing mistakes; mobile advertising; best articles on the web about mobile marketing
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